Rights theorists tend to take tempi pacifici for granted, but it is precisely in emergencies that rights are most difficult to protect and most in need of protection. Two remedies are: first, to be successful in emergencies and second, to establish a free government capable of handling emergencies. These remedies play no role in the thinking of the ACLU, which has increasingly come to define the public's understanding of rights. For the ACLU, a right is not a right unless it can be carried to an extreme and used irresponsibly. A better liberal theory, with instruction from Machiavelli, will seek to combine our interest in security with our assertion of rights.
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DOI 10.1080/08913819208443280
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